One step at a time – The beginnings of CommonsNet

The beginnings

If you have been accepted to a serious project like Google Summer of Code is, you can feel lost and scared. I think it’s nothing special and probably everyone experiences it. You can feel that pressure because you want to fulfill all expectations, follow your obligations and to do your best, but working in such project is something different from working on your own, private and small one.  Your organisation and mentors require something from you, and they can even provide you with a detailed guideline how to behave but doubts may occur anyway.

My advice is not to give up and go through that tought period in order to experience the joy of results and sense of satisfaction, and to learn something to be better in the future. I am going to tell about my beginnings and to provide you with some tips  from my own experience


CommonsNet (feel free to see it) is a new project of FOSSASIA. It focuses on providing users with transparent information about WiFi they may use in public places like hotels, restaurants, stations. The thing is that for now, if you go to a new place, and want to connect to Internet, you look for a free WIFI sign and as soon as you find it you try to connect. But think about it, how much do you know about this connection? Is is safe for your private data? How fast is it? Does the Internet connection have any legal restrictions?  I suppose that you answer ‘no’ to all these questions. But what if you know? Or if you can compare details of different WIFI available in a specific public place and connect to more suitable for your needs. I am sure you will appreciate it. I hope to run this project successfully and I am going to tell you more about it in next posts.

How to start?

Due to the fact that CommonsNet is a new project as I have mentioned before, and for now apart from mentor @agonarch and FOSSASIA leaders @mariobehling @hpdang, I am an only contributor, I am in a good position to tell you what are my steps. Remember not to think about all at once. It will make you crazy.

So first of all – prepare your work. Try to get to know about your project as much as possible. Follow group chat, GitHub repositories, do research in Internet about the subject of area of your project or don’t be afraid to ask your team member. That’s what I have done at first. I have prepared a Google Doc about all WiFi details. I  have tried to get to know as much as possible and to gather this information in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

project details

I need it because I will be preparing a wizard form for users to let them provide all important details about their WiFi. I need to think seriously which data are important and have to be used to do it. It is not finished yet and will be changing (yes, I am going to share it with you and update you about changes!) but for now I want you to follow my view about it, how am I going to use the gathered information. wizard-ui

Next step is to prepare user stories. I think it’s a crucial point before you start to implement your project. I think there is no point of developing something until you think who will your user be. You need to imagine him/her and try to predict what he or she may expect from your app. Remeber – even if app is well coded it’s useless until somebody wants to use it. You can find many tutorials how to write a good user story in Internet. Just type ‘user stories’ in Google search. Some of them are here;

You can also see my user stories created for CommonsNet .

Furthermore, I have prepared a mockups to visualize my ideas. I think it’s also an important part of running your project. It will help you to express and concretize your ideas and let the whole team discuss about it. And there is no doubt that it’s easier to change a simple draft of mockups than coded views. You can see my mockups here: CommonsNet MockupsScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.38.20

As soon as you finish all these activities is a high time to start creating issues on GitHub. Yes, of course, you probably have already started, so have I, but I am talking about further issues which help you to take control over your progress and work, discuss on specific subject and share it with other.

Lost on GitHub?

Is is possible at all? I suppose we all know and use GitHub. It’s a perfect place of working to all programmers. Its possibilities seems to be unlimited. But maybe some of you experience the difficulties which I have experienced at first, because just like me you have used GitHub so far only for your private aims and simply just pushed code and have not worried about creating issues, following discussions and  organizing your work step by step . Let me to explain you why and how to follow GitHub flow.

GitHub issues let you and your team take control over your work. It’s really important to create bigger, let’s say main issues, and then subissues, which help you to divide your work into small parts. Remember – only one step at a time! Using my mockups first I have created some issues which present main tasks like ‘deploying app to Heroku’ or different pages in my app like ‘Home’, ‘About us’. And then I have created many smaller issues – subissues to present what tasks I have to do in each section like ‘Home’ -> ‘Impementing top menu’, ‘Implementing footer’, ‘Implementing big button’. It helps me to control where I am, what have been done, and what do I need to do next. And I think the smaller the tasks are, the more fruitful the discussion and work can be, because you can simply refine each detail. Please feel free to see CommonsNet issues. It’s not finished yet, and while working I am going to add further issues but it presents the main idea I am talking about.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.57.48.png

I hope these tips help you to run your work and to go through harder time – easier. And remember even the longest journey starts from the first step!

Please follow CommonsNet webiste to be updated about progress, latest news and tips how to resolve programming problems you may experience.

Feel free to follow us on social media Facebook  Twitter

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Being a mentor ! #GoogleCodeIn

Google Code-In 2015/2016 just concluded and it was an enriching experience to be a prime segment of this cool initiative.

It feels great to have worked as a Mentor for Google Code-In 2015/2016 under FOSSASIA organization 🙂gci-vertical-1142x994dp

I strongly believe that helping people steer their careers in the right direction is a key element in developing. The esteemed task of mentoring is an essential leadership skill. In addition to managing and motivating people, it’s also important that one can help others learn, grow and become more effective in their lives.

My experience with mentoring Google Code-In tells me that mentoring is a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. It not only aids in improving communication skills but also brings about a a great sense of personal satisfaction. One gains a new perspective of thinking and gets to advance technical skills by learning together with the mentee.

The mentor-ship experience was a surreal one. I never knew my answers and feedback to simple questions could be the cause of someone’s high spirits. It made me realize the impact one’s guidance could have on a budding developer. My feeling of immense contentment was augmented by the innocent tweets and blog posts of the mentees expressing their gratitude and happiness. (refer a few screenshots attached 😀 )


Screenshot from 2016-01-08 22:12:40

Screenshot from 2016-02-12 00:18:58
The journey in this field will urge to shed all inhibitions, keep pride aside and dive into this worthy mission of building a powerful community. The small interesting conversations and tasks will sometimes leave a deep impact on the mentor as a person, after-all not everyday one comes across a student submitting “Peace Pledge: No ! To war and distrust” to his/her mentor where both belong to two countries supposedly at ‘cold war’ 😉

I am also of the view that by being a mentor to a newbie, we pay our regards to the entire computing sphere and its fraternity.

Helping the mentee have a smooth transition into the tech world helps make long lasting associations and ensure a better future.

A season of mentoring gone by, excited for another already !

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searchQuick Apprise: EIGHT #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


Bringing up to the rear of the summers, the project was brought to a penultimate stage by achieving the following tasks:

    • Handling empty string searches by raising error pop ups.
      searchBar accept .
      (myString isEmptyOrNil  ) 
      ifTrue: [self errorPopUp ] 
      ifFalse: [ 
           myString := searchBar getText asString .
                self printSearchResults
                     ] .
    • Adding Help, About and Feedback sections to give an authentic application look and required details to an interested developer.
    • Inserting ScrollPane for BrowseFile list menu
      browseScroll := ScrollPane new.
      browseScroll scroller addMorph: browse.
    • Truncating BrowseFile list menu file titles to have their extent within the #MenuMorph: boundary
      title := anObject truncateWithElipsisTo: 25. 
    • Removal of OK/CANCEL buttons from the Search results accordion widget
      dialog buttons: {}.
    • Implementation of a Search Bar for searching via Search results accordion widget.
    • Categorizing methods as: accessing, initializationsubmorphsadd/remove etc.
    • Removal of unwanted/redundant/commented code lines i.e. scrubbing dead-code.


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[Tutorial] Continuous Integration Automated Build for your Pharo Application

reposted from

Hello Fellas !

This post aims to put forward the basics of Build Automation and also brief the steps required to put up a Pharo application on Continuous Integration, Inria which is a platform for Scheduled Automated Build.
For simplicity, Build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that software developers do in their day-to-day activities including things like:
  • compiling computer source code into binary code
  • packaging binary code
  • running automated tests
  • deploying to production systems
  • creating documentation and/or release notes

Various types of automation are as:

  • On-Demand automation such as a user running a script at the command line
  • Scheduled automation such as a continuous integration server running a nightly build
  • Triggered automation such as a continuous integration server running a build on every commit to a version control system.
In recent years, build management tools have provided relief when it comes to automating the build process.
The dominant benefits of continuous integration include:
  • Improvement of product quality
  • Acceleration of compile and link processing
  • Elimination of redundant tasks
  • Minimization of ‘bad builds’
  • Have history of builds and releases in order to investigate issues
  • Save time and money – because of above listed reasons.

A build system should fulfill certain requirements.

Basic requirements:

  1. Frequent or overnight builds to catch problems early.
  2. Support for Source Code Dependency Management
  3. Incremental build processing
  4. Reporting that traces source to binary matching
  5. Build acceleration
  6. Extraction and reporting on build compile and link usage

Optional requirements:

  1. Generate release notes and other documentation such as help pages
  2. Build status reporting
  3. Test pass or fail reporting
  4. Summary of the features added/modified/deleted with each new build

Considering the above mentioned advantages of automated build, the below enlisted steps will help to put up your own Pharo application hosted on github on the CI server for continuous integration/scheduled build.
 1. Log on to Continuous Integration, Inria website (

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 15:53:49
2. Click on ‘Sign Up‘ at the top-right corner, enter the required details and register for CI.

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 15:54:02
3. From the ‘Dashboard‘ option located at the top most of the screen click on ‘Join an existing project‘ blue button as shown .

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 15:59:22
4. Search ‘pharo-contribution‘ in the enlisted public projects and click on ‘Join

5. On clicking the ‘Join‘ button, a message stating: “Request to join the project ‘pharo-contribution’ sent.” appears.

6. It might take a day or two for the request approval mail to deliver at your registered Email ID.

The E-Mail content is as follows:
        Your request to join pharo-contribution has been accepted
        Hi _ _ _,
        Your request to join the project pharo-contribution has been accepted !
        Support team.

7. Click on ‘My Account‘ option and under ‘My Projects‘ check the status of pharo-contribution project. It should state ‘member‘.

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:17:55
8. Now, visit the LINK:  to create a ‘New Job

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:21:06
9. Read all the steps mentioned carefully. After going through all the points, click on the ‘New Job‘ mentioned in point 2 on the Project Job Template web page.

10. Enter the ‘Project Name‘ in the ‘Item Name: ‘ box and choose ‘Copy from existing item‘ option and fill ‘JobTemplate

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:30:01
11. After clicking OK, You will be directed to your project configuration.

12. Fill in the description of the project in the desired box.

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:32:31
13. Fill int the configuration details of your project like:

* Maximum number of builds
*  Link to GitHub Project
*  Source Code Manager
* Build Triggers
*  Schedule of build (@hourly, @daily, @weekly, @fortnightly, @monthly, @yearly etc.)
*  Configuration Matrix (User Defined Axis: Name && Version Values- stable, development etc.)
* Build environment options
* Post-build actions
*  Report regressed tests

14. The main task is to carefully write the commands in the ‘Execute Shell
The default commands are as:

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:39:06
15. After saving and applying the changes, the application is all set for automated build.

16. Each build’s ‘Console Output‘ can be used to analyse the steps and highlight the weak areas of the project.
For instance: The below output is of a project whose stable version build was successful.

Screenshot from 2015-08-08 16:49:05

TIP: Keep a regular tab on the build results and analyze each line of the Console Output with utmost care.

Hope this post was able to help you start with the automation build process of Pharo Application.

Do like if it was worth a read !
Post queries/suggestions as comments 🙂 Looking forward to them.

UPCOMING: Next, I plan to share experience of putting up my Pharo application searchQuick on CI Inria for automated build. I intend to detail about the various configuration settings applied along with the Execute Shell commands utilized for a GitHub project 🙂

Introduction Accredits: Wikipedia 
Resources:  Build Automation and Continuous Integration .

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searchQuick Apprise: SEVEN #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


After the chief tasks of search functionality and automated build were done with, the next undertaking included working on finer details and embellishments.

  • Embedding Jenkins automated build status icon in GitHub markdown file
  • Relative widget re-sizing by using ‘World extent x‘ and ‘World extent y‘ co-ordinates instead of hard coded co-ordinates
  • Modifying the Accordion Widget by addition of ‘Search Bar‘ at the top
  • Checking for duplicates in the ‘Browse Files‘ menu, thus reducing the CPU consumption
  • Equalizing the sizes of all the windows to bring uniformity
  • Addition of ‘Scroll Pane‘ in accordion search result display list
  • Multi-line search result display by extending the Expander Title Morph and use of new line character in labels (otherwise not supported by default)
  • Truncating file content to first n characters for neater look in Expander Title

Latest Screenshot of Accordion Widget:
Screenshot from 2015-08-18 18:38:06

  • Removal of OK & CANCEL buttons (present by default in Pluggable Dialog Window) from Accordion Widget
  • Implementing of Search via the result window as well
  • Relative re-sizing of background images (Image Morphs)

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searchQuick Apprise: SIX #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


The main task achieved was putting up the application up on Continuous Integration, Inria for automated build. It was indeed a beneficial idea as it helped me keep a check on the builds and work on issues.
Being a newbie, this work was cumbersome initially but with the help of my mentors and the #pharo community, I was able to accomplish it. To assist fellow Pharo-ers, I have compiled all the information regarding CI Automated Build for yout Pharo Application and published the same on my blog-spot. Kindly go through it for a complete understanding 🙂

Other tasks completed as of now include:

  • Putting up the project for automated build on
  • Successful ‘stable’ and ‘development’ version builds
  • Accessing resource folder via MCGitHubRepository, Removal of manual download option
  • By default full screen system window open
  • Removing redundant code by creating open argument methods
  • Abolishment of hard-coded font family and font point size
  • Categorization of methods & classes
  • GUI Embellishment with background colors, borders etc.


  • Dynamic widget re-sizing
  • Multi-line search result title
  • Putting up Help and About sections
  • Removal of old configurations

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searchQuick Apprise: FIVE #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


As the rudimentary structure of the application is sewn up, embellishment of GUI and rigorous testing are the major part of course of action.
On eMBee’s ( +Martin Bähr ) suggestion to build up an accordion widget to display the search results, various trials were conducted to design a similar one in Pharo.

The task of developing the accordion widget in Pharo was achieved using Expander Morphs. Looping through the search results array, a #newExpander: was added in each #newRow: of the modal built.

A challenging chore was to add a scroll-able content on the click of the desired search result expander. Sundry experiments with #newLabel: and #newText: in #newScrollPaneFor: {i.e. adding text model and labels in scroll pane} had no effect. Eventually, #newTextEditorFor: did the trick and the desired look was created.
Next on the cards is putting up sQuick for automated build on the CI Server, as suggested by +Sean DeNigris for its various advantages which include:
  • Improvement of product quality
  • Acceleration of compile and link processing
  • Elimination of redundant tasks
  • Minimization of ‘bad builds’
  • Have history of builds and releases in order to investigate issues
  • Save time and money – because of above listed reasons.
For simplicity, Build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that software developers do in their day-to-day activities including things like:
  • compiling computer source code into binary code
  • packaging binary code
  • running automated tests
  • deploying to production systems
  • creating documentation and/or release notes
To achieve Build Automation for sQuick, I have already registered on CI and configured sQuick.
Next endeavor is to look into the red signal in the build evaluation.

Stay tuned for more….Post any queries, will be happy to help 🙂
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Intriguing Read (Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The Case of Pharo)

Hiya Fellas 😀

So, while I was browsing through various developments in Pharo, I came across a very eye-catching paper on Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The case of Pharo .

For beginners, Bootstrapping is basically the process of writing a compiler or an assembler in the source programming language in which it is intended to compile. Applying this technique leads to self-hosting compiler that proceeds without external input.

Though, I am still a newbie and in the process of grasping all this ingenious stuff.
But I am sure that this paper ( Poli12-BootstrappingSmalltalk-SCP ) by G. Polito , S. Ducasse , L. Fabresse , N. Bouraqadi , B. van Ryseghem would make for an interesting read.

Do scan through it and post below your ideas and queries !

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Pharo Launcher : What? How? #PharoInProgress

reposted from

This tutorial has been included as a chapter in  Pharo In Progress.

This post aims to provide a basic overview of what PharoLauncher is and give a step-by-step approach on how to use this application of great advantage.


Pharo is an open source implementation of the programming language and environment Smalltalk. Pharo is not Smalltalk. Pharo is Smalltalk-inspired.

Pharo offers strong live programming features such as immediate object manipulation, live update, and hot recompilation. Live programming environment is in the heart of the system. Pharo also supports advanced web development with frameworks such as Seaside and more recently Tide.

The official Pharo website defines it as: ”Pharo is a pure object-oriented programming language and a powerful environment, focused on simplicity and immediate feedback (think IDE and OS rolled into one). ”

Pharo relies on a virtual machine that is written almost entirely in Smalltalk itself. Pharo environment is its own little world, designed around a conception of a computer with a minimal operating system and populated with living objects. A Smalltalk implementation is composed of an image (binary code), a major source file and a ‘changes’ file. The image is called Virtual Image (VI) because is independent of the platform you use for running Smalltalk. Smalltalk systems store the entire program state (including both Class and non-Class objects) in an image file. The image can then be loaded by the Smalltalk virtual machine to restore a Smalltalk-like system to a prior state.

As Pharo is open source, it growing rapidly owing to the contributions of people all around the world. Each day we have a new update of the image of Pharo which makes it cumbersome to keep track of updates. It becomes quite a task when one has to download a new image seperately each he/she plans to work on something having the latest issues fixed, new features added etc. That’s where the PharoLauncher comes in the picture. Pharo Launcher, a cross-platform application that

  • lets you manage your Pharo images (launch, rename, copy and delete);
  • lets you download image templates (i.e., zip archives) from many different sources (Jenkins,, and your local cache) and create new images from any template.

The idea behind the Pharo Launcher is that you should be able to access it very rapidly from your OS application launcher. As a result launching any image is never more than 3 clicks away. “PharoLauncher” is useful to a user who develops and needs to constantly switch between images. PharoLauncher is also a very handy tool to download specific image update versions if you want to reproduce or fix Pharo bugs.Pharo Launcher is a Pharo-based application allowing you to manage a list of images (download, rename, delete) and switch between them without aditional tools.

Downloading/Installing PharoLauncher

As discussed earlier about the rapid evolvement of Pharo , kindly check out to get the latest download/install instructions for Pharo Launcher.

Linux Ubuntu:

( Ubuntu users can use the dedicated ppa to install Pharo

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pharo/stable
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pharo-launcher

If you don’t have the add-apt-repository command, install the software-properties-common package and try again. If you are on a server (no GUI), you can get a Pharo Virtual Machine by installing pharo-vm-core.

On Ubuntu, the Launcher is installed as /usr/bin/pharo, so you can type the following command on the terminal to start the Pharo Launcher.


ArchLinux :


$ yaourt pharo-vm-latest
$ pharo /path/to/your/image

There’s also a pharo-launcher package that depends on pharo-vm:

$ yaourt pharo-launcher
$ pharo-launcher


Download and install the executable from the link provided here.


Use the link ( install Pharo Launcher on Mac system. After installation , you’ll observe that the Launcher is installed in /Applications.

Using PharoLauncher

Launch the Pharo launcher image using the platform-specific VM. The image below depicts how a PharoLauncher looks like when it is opened.


The screen displayed initially has been divided into two parts.

The left part ‘Existing Images’ displays the images already created by the user. Initially after the installation the left side with local images is empty. Whereas the the right side is the ‘Templates’ section which displays the image templates from various resources available for download from the internet. The ‘Existing Images’ section has 3 buttons : Launch, Delete and Refresh. The ‘Templates’ section has 2 buttons : Create Image and Refresh.

At the bottom of the launcher we have the buttons for quit and settings.

Select the image you wish to work on from the list and the sources provided in the ‘Templates’ section and download it. For instance you can download “Pharo4.0 (beta)” from the options provided which is the latest image as of today. By clicking on the ‘Create Image’ button at the top right corner.

Note that also the images from contribution CI are available. So you can easily download “Artefact”, “Moose”, … images according to your choice.

It will download the image into a specific directory somewhere in your users home directory. Each image gets an own folder. Use the “Show in folder” menu item to open this location.

The location of the images can be changed through the ‘Settings Browser’ option located at the bottom-right corner. Go to the ‘Open Settings’ > ‘Location of your images’. Now enter the desired path in the place provided as shown in the figure.


After ‘Creating an image’ , a dialog box appears which asks you to give a name to the image as shown in figure below.


After entering the suitable name , the image is displayed in the ‘Existing Images’ section.


To launch the image, simply select your option and click on the ‘Launch’ button located at the top right corner of the ‘Existing Images’ section and voila ! You have the pharo image of your choice running with the name of your choice.


You could watch this video on Pharo Launcher by Kilon Alios to get a clearer view ( Resources to explore further:

Do like the post if it was helpful. For any queries/suggestions please comment below. Thank You

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searchQuick Apprise: FOUR #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA


The intended “searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.


After indexing the content and the next task that was covered was searching for the user input string. The #queryString: does a fantastic job as of now.
The search results were printed in a scroll-able pane by iterating through a loop so as to cover each and every existence of the desired string. The search results window also enables the user to view the content of the chosen file.

02Search Results Display

Acting on the suggestion of my mentor, I have also loaded the Pharo image with text versions of large books (Thank You Project Gutenberg 🙂 )  to test the working of the search function.


  • GUI Modification
  • Integrated Exhaustive Testing
  • Addition of help/tutorial

PS: The GUI of the application is under constant evolvement, Kindly ignore the poorly structured window 😛

Stay tuned for more…
Post any queries , will be happy to help 🙂

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